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21 May, 2014

Big Pond Dip for NE

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is encouraging pond-dippers across the North East of Scotland to grab their nets and take part in the Big North East Pond Dip.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is encouraging pond-dippers across the North East of Scotland to grab their nets and take part in the Big North East Pond Dip.

This ambitious Citizen Science project event will take place between 24th and 31st May, and is being organised by the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership. It will bring together schools, communities, youth groups and individuals across Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray to build a picture of the state of ponds, and the plants and animals that they support.

A specially designed recording pack, called Pooling Our Ponds, has been launched to help participants find and identify key species, such as frogs, newts, dragonflies and water boatmen, which can indicate how healthy a pond is. The North East Scotland Biological Records Centre will then collate the records contributed from the survey to give a better picture of what's out there.

Rose Toney, the Partnership's Co-ordinator, said, "Ponds are an amazing haven for biodiversity; indeed, as a habitat, they can support more species, as well as more rare, and threatened species, than lakes, rivers, and streams. Even small garden ponds can provide an important refuge for a huge variety of wildlife."

Roger Owen, Head of Ecology at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the chair of the Partnership's Freshwater and Wetland Group, agreed: "Our ponds are really important for wildlife, as places to enjoy and where our children can learn to value their environment while having fun. The project aims to help secure the future of ponds as a resource for everyone."

Ewen Cameron, SNH Tayside & Grampian operations manager, added, "We're really looking forward to the first year of the Big North East Pond Dip, and we hope people will join us each year in recording, just as they do for the Big Garden Birdwatch and the Big Butterfly Count schemes.

"Lots of our partners have organised pond dips to support the week of events, but what we would really love is for folk to get out and survey their own local ponds, be they school, community, garden or farm ponds. Our survey only takes around 30 minutes to complete and the information it provides will be invaluable. Plus, it will be loads of fun water, mud, creepy crawlies what's not to love about pond-dipping!"

For information on the Big North East Pond Dip and how to take part, see www.nesbiodiversity.org.uk/big-north-east-pond-dip

Notes to editors

Scottish Natural Heritage is the government's adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland's nature now and in the future. For more information, visit our website at www.snh.gov.uk. SNH media is also now on Twitter at twitter.com/SNH_Tweets

The North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership is a partnership with representatives drawn from a range of organisations including local authorities, conservation, environmental and research organisations, statutory agencies and local businesses and individuals. The aim of the partnership is to work together to protect and enhance local biodiversity through the delivery of a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). For more, see www.nesbiodiversity.org.uk

The North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership (NESBReC) collates, manages and provides biological information for the North East of Scotland. Founded in 2000, NESBReC covers Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, Moray and the Cairngorms National Park. Currently, over 1 million species records are held, as well as other biological datasets. For more information, see www.nesbrec.org.uk

Contact information

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SNH Media
Email
snhmedia@snh.gov.uk

Scottish Natural Heritage is Scotland's nature agency. We work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. So that all nature in Scotland - our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species - is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits. It is the job of all of us to achieve a balance in the sensitive management of our natural world in order to maintain and enhance biodiversity. For more information, visit our website at www.nature.scot or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nature_scot

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